Sounds as though San Jose could be getting Martin Havlat back in the lineup on Saturday when the Sharks host the Kings in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal.
“Getting better. We’ll see how it goes [Saturday] morning,” Havlat told CSN Bay Area of his lower-body injury. “We’ll see. Like I said, we’ll see how it feels tomorrow.
“It’s getting closer and closer.”
Havlat, 32, had eight goals and 10 assists in 40 games with the Sharks this year, averaging nearly 16 minutes per game.
He was injured during Game 1 of the Vancouver series,but has since resumed skating with the team.
It remains something of a mystery as to what Havlat’s injury is — all he would say is that it didn’t occur when Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa jabbed him between the legs.
Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said he was also unsure as to Havlat’s status.
“That’s Marty, mother nature and the trainer’s decision,” he explained. “I can’t speed any of those up as a coach. I hope that one day soon that he comes knocking on my door and tells me that he’s ready to go, because we could sure use him.”
The Sharks are currently without forwards Raffi Torres (suspended) and Adam Burish (broken hand) for this series and could use Havlat’s presence up front.
Burish confirmed to CSN that he broke his hand while blocking a shot in Game 4 against Vancouver. He was ruled out by the team for the entire second round, but claimed his goal is to return at some point against the Kings.
Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.
O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.
The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.
He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.
With a quote that’s sure to raise the ire of the stats crowd, here’s Jonathan Quick on his .833 save percentage to start the season:
“That’s for people that don’t know the game. Those numbers don’t mean nothing. We’re 0-2, though. That number means something, so that’s something that we’ve got to get better at.”
(That quote, per LA Kings Insider.)
Quick allowed four goals on 22 shots in his last outing, a 4-1 loss to Arizona on Friday, after which head coach Darryl Sutter said of his star goalie: “He didn’t play very well tonight, did he?”
So even if Quick doesn’t think much of statistics, he should still be extra motivated for tonight’s home game against Vancouver, assuming he gets the start.
Last season, Quick’s .918 save percentage ranked in a three-way tie for 14th out of the 29 goalies who started 40 or more games.